The former head of the Royal Marines, Major General Matthew Holmes, died by suicide after experiencing “substantial stress”, an inquest into his death has concluded.
Major General Holmes was found dead in Winchester, Hampshire, on 2 October, 2021.
He served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and Northern Ireland for more than three decades in the armed forces.
He also commanded 42 Commando Royal Marines from 2006 to 2008 and was appointed as a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership on operations in Afghanistan in 2007.
From 2019 to 2021 he was Commandant General Royal Marines and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2019.
The father-of-two was also awarded a CBE in 2019 and has been described as “one of our most senior and highly decorated Royal Marines”.
On his death, then Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I am very saddened to learn of the death of Major General Matt Holmes. My thoughts are with Matt’s family and friends at this difficult time, as well as the Royal Marines and Royal Navy who I know will feel this loss keenly.”
Tributes paid to former head of Royal Marines
Former head of Royal Marines took his own life, inquest hears
Lieutenant General Rob Magowan, Deputy Commander Strategic Command and formerly head of the Royal Marines, also paid tribute to his former colleague and friend in October 2021.
He said: “My heart goes out to him and his family. We will honour him and all those closest to him. But I also think of you all. It matters not that he was a general, but it does that he is a Royal Marine.
“I remember and celebrate him, alongside all those who he is with now. We are one family, together, just as we learned, and as we trained, alongside each other at the Commando Training Centre. Once a marine, always a marine.”
Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email email@example.com in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK